ORDINANCE NO.: 12-08
Section 8.24.000: Purpose and Intent
a) The purpose of this chapter is to avoid the detrimental effects of wrecked, dismantled, lost or abandoned shopping carts, or parts thereof, in accordance with state law. This chapter provides for the prompt retrieval of shopping carts by their owners and the impoundment and disposal of unclaimed shopping carts by the city, and authorizes the city to recover its costs and fines as prescribed by state law.
b) The accumulation of wrecked, dismantled, lost or abandoned shopping carts, or parts thereof, on public or private property is found to create a condition tending to reduce property values, promote blight and deterioration, constitute an attractive nuisance creating a hazard to the health and safety of minors, and be aesthetically detrimental to the community and injurious to health, safety and the general welfare. Furthermore, the accumulation of these shopping carts interferes with pedestrian and vehicular traffic, waterways, storm drainage systems and the maintenance thereof. Therefore, the presence of wrecked, dismantled, lost or abandoned shopping carts, or parts thereof, on 2 public or private property, is declared to constitute a public nuisance which may be abated in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
c) It is also the intent of this chapter is to ensure that measures are taken by shopping cart owners to prevent the removal of shopping carts from a business’ premises, to make removal of shopping carts a violation of this code, and to facilitate the retrieval of abandoned shopping carts in a manner consistent with state law.
d) This chapter shall apply to all owners of business establishments and other commercial services within the city that provide shopping carts for use by customers and members of the public.
Section 8.24.010: Definitions
a) The terms as used in this Chapter or in any resolution or standard adopted by the City Council pursuant to this Chapter shall have the following meanings:
1) “Abandoned cart prevention plan” or “ACPP” shall mean a document submitted to the city by the owner of the shopping cart pursuant to section 8.24.120 of this chapter.
2) “Abandoned shopping cart” shall mean any shopping cart that has been removed from the premises of a business establishment and has been left unattended on either private or public property.
3) “Agent” shall mean the person or persons designated in the abandoned cart prevention plan that the owner of the shopping cart authorizes as the person(s) to perform or provide retrieval services on behalf of the owner. The agent may be the owner, if so designated in the city approved abandoned cart prevention plan.
4) “Director” shall mean the officer designated by the city manager to administer this chapter.
5) “Electronic theft deterrent system” shall mean a mechanical system which automatically locks the wheels of a shopping cart when the shopping cart is pushed outside the premises. Typically, such systems include a brake on the shopping cart and some type of perimeter wire around the premises which triggers the brake on the shopping cart.
6) “Existing business” shall mean an establishment with a valid business license and which is open to the public on the date of approval of the ordinance from which this chapter derives.
7) “Owner” shall mean any person or entity who, in connection with the conduct of a
business, owns, leases, possesses, or makes a shopping cart available to customers or the public. For purposes of this chapter, owner shall also include the owner’s designated agent.
8) “Premises” shall mean the entire area owned or utilized by the business establishment that provides shopping carts for use by customers, including any parking lot or other property provided by the owner for customer parking.
9) “Shopping cart” shall mean a basket mounted on wheels or a similar device generally used in a retail establishment by a customer for the purpose of transporting goods of any kind.
10) “Storeowner” shall mean any person or entity who, in connection with the conduct of a business, owns, possesses or makes available shopping carts to customers for use on the premises of the person’s or entity’s business establishment. For purposes of this Chapter, the term “storeowner” also shall include an on-site manager or designated agent who provides shopping carts for use by customers of the business establishment.
11) “Tenant improvement” shall mean a construction project which would require a building permit to modify the physical condition of an existing building or space.
Section 8.24.020: Unauthorized Removal Prohibited
a) It shall be unlawful for any person, either temporarily or permanently, to remove a shopping cart from any premises or be in possession of a shopping cart that has been removed from any premises and which is properly marked in conformity with this chapter without the written consent of the owner. This section shall not apply to shopping carts removed as authorized by the owner for the purposes of repair, maintenance or disposal. (ref. CA B&PC sections 22435-22435.8)
Section 8.24.030: Required Signs on Shopping Carts
a) Every storeowner who makes shopping carts available to customers for the purposes of transporting goods shall have the duty to permanently affix, or cause to be permanently affixed, a sign on each shopping cart that contains the information specified in subsection (b) of this section, and California Business and Professionals Code Sections 22435 -22435.8 (incorporated herein by reference), as may be amended.
b) Every shopping cart owned or provided for the use of customers by any business establishment in the city shall have a sign permanently affixed to it that contains the following information:
1) The name of the owner of the shopping cart or the name of the business establishment where the shopping cart is in lawful use, or both;
2) Notification to the public of the procedure to be used for authorized removal of the shopping cart from the premises;
3) Notification to the public that the unauthorized removal of the shopping cart from the premises, or the unauthorized possession of the shopping cart off of the premises, is a violation of state and city laws;
4) A telephone number to contact to report the location of an abandoned shopping cart; and
5) An address where the shopping cart can be returned to the storeowner.
Section 8.24.040: Removal or Posession of Removed Shopping Carts Prohibited
a) It shall be unlawful to either temporarily or permanently remove a shopping cart from the premises of a business establishment without the express prior written approval of the storeowner.
b) It shall be unlawful to be in possession of a shopping cart that has been removed from the premises of a business establishment without the express prior written approval of the storeowner unless it is in the process of being immediately returned to the business establishment.
c) It shall be unlawful to leave or abandon a shopping cart at a location other than the premises of the storeowner with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the storeowner of possession of the shopping cart.
d) It shall be unlawful to alter, convert, or tamper with a shopping cart, or to remove any part of the shopping cart, or to remove, obliterate or alter serial numbers on the shopping cart, or to be in possession of any shopping cart with serial numbers removed, obliterated, or altered with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the storeowner of possession of the shopping cart.\
Section 8.24.050: Authority to Impound
a) The city may, in accordance with this chapter, retrieve and impound any shopping cart left on public or private property when the shopping cart has a sign permanently affixed as required by section 8.24.030. The city shall deem discarded any shopping cart that lacks the signs required by section 8.24.030 and may retrieve and dispose of any discarded shopping cart in accordance with this Chapter 8.24.
1) Notice of Location Procedure. The city may impound a shopping cart that has a sign affixed to it if:
I) The shopping cart is located outside of the premises of the shopping cart’s owner; and
II) The owner of the shopping cart fails to retrieve it within three (3) business days from the date the owner, or his/her/its, agent receives a written Notice of Location from the city of the shopping cart’s discovery and location.
2) Notice of Impound Procedure. As an alternative to the impound procedure of subsection A. above, the city may impound a shopping cart without providing Notice of Location described in subsection A. above if:
I) The owner of the shopping cart or his/her/its designated agent is provided a written Notice of Impoundment within twenty-four (24) hours following the city’s impound of the shopping cart that informs the owner as to the location where the shopping cart may be claimed;
II) The impounded shopping cart is held at a location that complies with Section 8.24.070 below; and
3) Any shopping cart reclaimed by the owner or his/her/its designee within three (3) business days following the date of the owner’s receipt of a Notice of Impoundment shall not be deemed an occurrence for purposes of Section 8.24 and will be released to the owner or owner’s agent at no charge whatsoever; fines and impound and storage fees that would otherwise apply shall be waived in such case.
b) It is within the city’s sole discretion whether to utilize the Notice of Location procedure or the Notice of Impound procedure in any given case. If the city elects to utilize the Notice of Location procedure outlined in subsection A. above, the city will not be required to also provide a Notice of Impound. The city may, however, elect to impound a shopping cart within three (3) business days of issuing a Notice of Location to the shopping cart’s owner, but the City shall give a Notice of Impound, and the Notice of Impound procedures shall apply in such instance.
Section 8.24.060: Providing of Notice of Location/Notice of Impoundment
a) Any notice required pursuant to Section 8.24.050 above shall be mailed first class and postage paid, e-mailed with required read receipt, sent by overnight delivery service, or hand-delivered to the address identified on the shopping cart and shall inform the owner of the location where the shopping cart is located, or, in instances in which the city impounds a shopping cart, the location at which the shopping cart may be claimed. If mailed, the notice shall be deemed received three (3) days after the date of mailing. If emailed, the notice shall be deemed received at the time a read receipt is sent or the owner of the shopping cart or his/her/its agent or designee replies to or otherwise acknowledges the city’s email in writing. If sent by overnight delivery, the notice shall be deemed to be delivered the business day immediately following the city’s deposit of the notice with the overnight delivery service. If by personal delivery, the notice shall be deemed delivered on the day that the written notice is provided to the shopping cart owner or his/her/its designee.
Section 8.24.070: Authority to Store
a) The city may store an impounded shopping cart at any location, including, without limitation, the city’s corporation yard, that is both reasonably convenient to the owner of the shopping cart and is open for business at least six (6) hours of each business day.
Section 8.24.080: Authority to Disponse
a) The city may sell or dispose of any shopping cart not reclaimed from the city within thirty (30) days of receipt of notice by the storeowner of a shopping cart’s retrieval or location on public or private property off of the storeowner’s premises. With respect to shopping carts lacking the owner’s identity, the city may sell or otherwise dispose of such shopping carts that remain unclaimed for a period of ninety (90) calendar days.
Section 8.24.090: Retrieval or Reclamation by Shopping Cart Owners
a) Any shopping cart retrieved by its owner within three (3) business days following the date of receipt of a Notice of Location or reclaimed at the city’s impound facility within three (3) business days of the owner’s receipt a Notice of Location shall be released
and surrendered to the owner and there shall be no fine, fee, or charge. Any shopping cart reclaimed or retrieved by its owner within three (3) business days of the owner’s receipt of Notice of Location or Notice of Impound shall not be deemed an occurrence for the purpose of sections 8.24.100 and 8.24.110. An occurrence shall be deemed to have occurred only if: (i) any shopping cart is allowed to remain on public or private property for more than three (3) business days following the owner’s receipt of a Notice of Location; or (ii) is impounded by the city for longer than three (3) business days following the owner’s receipt of a Notice of Impound.
Section 8.24.100: Fines
a) The city is authorized to impose a fine upon the storeowner for each occurrence in excess of three (3) during a specified six (6) month period for failure to retrieve or claim a shopping cart during the three (3) business day period, as applicable, specified in section 8.24.090 above. For purposes of this Chapter 8.24, a single occurrence includes all shopping carts of a storeowner that are: (i) identified by the city during a one (1) day period for purposes of giving a Notice of Location; or (ii) impounded by the city in a one (1) day period for purposes of the Notice of Impound procedure. The City Council shall establish the amount of the per-occurrence fine by resolution, which shall not exceed the amount authorized under State law.
Section 8.24.110: Recovery of Costs
a) For every occurrence involving the Notice of Impound procedure, the city may recover from a shopping cart owner all actual costs incurred by the city in retrieving and impounding shopping carts pursuant to sections 8.24.050 and 8.24.090.
Section 8.24.120: Abandoned Cart Preventioon Plan Required
a) Owners of all businesses that provide shopping carts for customer use shall develop, implement and comply with the terms and conditions of an abandoned cart prevention plan or “ACPP,” as defined in this chapter, to prevent the unauthorized removal by any
person of any shopping cart from the owner’s premises and, if illegally removed, to proactively retrieve their shopping carts in a timely manner. The ACPP shall be submitted to the director within sixty (60) calendar days of written notification by the director that such plan is required. A new owner of a business is required to submit an application to the director with either a new plan, or adoption of the plan submitted by the previous owner.
Section 8.24.130: Abandoned Cart Preventoin Plan
a) The ACPP shall include the following elements:
1) Name of Business/Owner. The name of the owner and the business name, the physical address where the business is conducted, the name, address and phone number(s) of the on-site and off-site owner, if different, and current email address.
2) Inventory of Shopping Carts. A complete list of all shopping carts maintained on or in the premises. Each shopping cart owner will submit an updated list to the City on July 1 of each year, starting on July 1, 2014.
3) Community Outreach. A description of a community outreach process under which the owner shall cause notice to be provided to customers that the removal of shopping carts from the premises is prohibited and is a violation of state and local law. This notice may include, but is not limited to, flyers distributed at the premises, warnings on shopping bags, signs posted in prominent places near door and parking lot exits, direct mail, announcements using intercom systems at the premises, web site or other means demonstrated to be effective to the reasonable satisfaction of the director. Any and all posting of signs shall comply with the provisions of City of Hanford Municipal Code.
4) Shopping Cart Identification. Signs and shopping cart identification information which conform to this ordinance and California Business & Professions Code section 22435.1, as may be amended.
5) Loss Prevention Measures. A description of the specific measures that the owner shall implement to prevent shopping cart removal from the premises. These measures may include, but are not limited to, electronic or other disabling devices on the shopping carts so they cannot be removed from the premises, effective management practices, use of courtesy clerks to accompany customers and return the shopping carts to the premises, use of security personnel to prevent removal, security deposit for use of shopping carts, or other demonstrable measures acceptable to the director that are likely to prevent the removal of shopping carts from the premises.
6) Employee Training. A description of an ongoing employee training program that shall be implemented by the owner and that shall be designed to educate new and existing employees on the ACPP and conditions contained therein no less frequently than annually.
7) Proactive Efforts to Locate Abandoned Shopping Carts. A description of the efforts that the owner shall implement to locate shopping carts that have been illegally removed from the owner’s premises.
8) Mandatory Shopping Cart Retrieval. A plan for retrieval of abandoned shopping carts by the owner within three (3) business days of being notified by the city of an abandoned shopping cart’s location.
Section 8.24.140: Plan Approval or Denial and Penalties
a) Each owner shall submit an ACPP in compliance with section 8.24.120 to the director. The director may approve or deny the plan and notify the owner of such decision within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt. If approved, the ACPP shall be implemented by the owner no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of
approval by the city.
b) The director may deny a plan based upon any of the following grounds:
1) Implementation of the plan violates any provision of the building, zoning, health, safety, fire, police or other provisions of this code or any county, state or federal law which substantially affects public health, welfare, or safety;
2) The plan fails to include all of the information required by this chapter;
3) The plan is insufficient or inadequate to reasonably prevent removal of shopping carts from the premises;
4) The plan fails to address any special or unique conditions due to the geographical location of the premises as they relate to shopping cart retention and prevention efforts;
5) Implementation of the plan violates a term or condition of a plan or other requirement of this chapter;
6) The owner knowingly makes a false statement of fact or omits a fact required to be revealed in an application for the plan, or in any amendment or report or other information required to be made.
c) If the plan is rejected as incomplete or inadequate, the director shall indicate areas of incompleteness or inadequacy, and the owner shall have an additional thirty (30) calendar days in which to resubmit a complete and adequate plan.
d) An owner who fails to submit a complete plan to the satisfaction of the director, or fails to implement approved plan measures, or fails to comply with the approved plan measures, will be subject to enforcement of these requirements through any lawful
means available to the city.
e) The director’s decision to deny a plan shall be final.
Section 8.24.150: Plan Modification
a) At any time after the director’s approval of any ACPP, the owner may submit to the director an application for a modification of the previously approved plan to address a change in circumstances, address an unanticipated physical or economic impact of the plan, or modify an inadequate or ineffective plan.
Section 8.24.160: Abandoned Cart Prevention Plan Deemed Ineffective
a) An ACPP shall be deemed ineffective if, during any consecutive three (3) month period, more than twelve (12) of an owner’s shopping carts are illegally removed from the owner’s premises and found by the city in/on any public or private property. In such a case, the director shall provide the owner with written notification that its ACPP has been deemed ineffective. The owner shall then submit to the director a written plan to remedy the problem, which the owner shall then implement. If the ACPP is deemed ineffective a second time, the owner shall revise its ACPP to include, and shall implement, supplemental loss prevention measures, including those identified by the city, to ensure that the shopping cart thefts and/or unauthorized removals cease. If the city determines that an electronic theft deterrent system would be an effective supplemental loss prevention measure, the city may require the shopping cart owner to install and utilize such equipment if the owner’s ACPP is deemed ineffective a second time.
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